There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Yeah, he's styling!

This morning while I was getting the laundry started Layn snagged this hat off the counter in the laundry room.  Ordinarily he would never voluntarily put a hat on his head but today for some reason he seemed to feel that a hat was just the thing to complete his outfit.

He made quite a production of taking it off and putting it back on again, backwards.  He also liked to pull it down over his eyes.  I don't know if he knows how much entertainment his grandma got out of watching the simple and innocent interaction of a little boy and a hat but it made my morning.

Of course it doesn't hurt that those blue eyes are hard to resist.  I wonder if they make 2-year-old size cowboy hats?

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 27 February 2012

 Outside my window...the snow that fell over the weekend is now dirty and drab looking.  Though I don't particularly like snow it was so pretty when the world was all covered with it's white coat.  Maybe it is because this has been such a brown winter.
I am thinking....about all of the writing that I have to do this week.  Not thinking, oh boy do I have a lot to write but rather where do I start first.  Maybe I am getting my groove back finally.
I am thankful for....a husband who loves us and shows all of us how to love each other.
From the kitchen....that is a very good question. I don't know but I'll be sure to give it some thought and get back to you all on that.
I am wearing...brown skirt, rust colored top with a green vest.
I am creating....words strung together that, I hope, have meaning.
I am going...to the dentist today (ugggg!!!!!!) Don't get me wrong I like my dentist as a person, he is very nice. I just don't admire his choice of profession.
I am reading....The Shootist by Glendon Swarthout
I am hoping...to get my schoolwork done a little early this week.  MK and I have tickets to see some Irish dancers and I don't want to be feeling guilty about going to the show.
I am hearing....the laundry machines humming away, MK running her sewing machine in the kitchen, and the fan on the furnace making sure that we are nice and cozy.
Around the house.....all the cleaning up has been done and Layn is down for a nap.  It has a nice Monday morning feel to the day.
One of my favorite things....the day MK and I spent together yesterday sewing and teaching a couple of her friends how to do the same.
A few plans for the rest of the week... survive this trip to the dentist and the trip to the GI guy tomorrow.  Get a lot of schoolwork done so that MK and I can relax and enjoy The Rhythm of the Dance on Wednesday.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
They are learning to play together. Maybe Layn will even learn to be a gentleman.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Observing the day

Today is Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday as some would call it.  It is the last day before Holy Mother Church blesses with the penitential season of Lent.  When my kids were little we observed the day in various ways, with the traditional pancakes, sumptious feasts before the Lenten fast and other such treats.  Now there aren't so many at home to celebrate with and spoil as well.  That doesn't mean that we let the day go unnoticed though.  Layn got all dressed up in his second best and when we went out to take Uncle Matthew to work we went to the China Buffet for lunch. Then grandma took him to the thrift store in town and bought him a new toy tractor.  Tomorrow we will be annointed with blessed ashes and reminded of our mortality and our sinfulness.  Though Layn is too young to enter fully into the practices of Lent I am sure he will notice the lack of desserts and TV time in our house.  He will also be a part of the deepening of our prayer life in his own little way.  The Incarnation is for him as well as for the adults who understand what Lent is about.
Remember man that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return.

Indulging myself!

May I invite all of you who read my blog to check out this link.  My son Ryan's guest post today on ignitumtoday is really rather good, if I do say so.
http://www.ignitumtoday.com/2012/02/20/how-liberal-are-our-liberal-arts/

Monday, February 20, 2012

I just love a man in an apron!

Meals at our house are very often a cooperative effort.  Partially because of necessity, everyone is either coming and going from work or, in my case, busy with school and taking care of babies.  But I also like to think it is mainly because being together in the kitchen is just a lot of fun.
After Mass on Sunday my husband and I picked up a stray, (we have a tendancy to do that sometimes). Actually Joe is a friend of Matthew's from church.  Anyway, we picked him up and stuffed him in our car and brought him into the madness that we call home.  The reason for all this

 is to enlist another slave in the meal preparation process that goes on just about every Sunday afternoon.  Yesterday's menu: roast stuffed chicken, beef roulade, oven browned potatoes, steamed broccoli and steamed asparagus.  We finished the meal off with a delicious chocolate cake.
I don't know if Joe will ever succomb to the torture of having to prepare and eat such a meal again. But you never know since it bought him a day away from his five sisters, he just may consider it a fair trade.


He's just so photogenic when you can catch him unaware.

Ever since he was born, Layn has had a camera stuck in his face.  I can just hear my son the sergeant telling me, "At ease the camera!"  Layn has gotten so used to it that it is hard to get any decent candid shots of him.  Now that my camera is dying the death that may change though.

As soon as he sees me take it out of my desk he is right there with the cheese-cake grins.

There are so many moments in a little guy's life that need to be captured though that it is hard not to haul out the camera, sneak through the house, hunker down behind some piece of furniture and get just that perfect moment captured forever.

Washing dishes with his daddy!

This one was well worth the stealth that it took to get it.

Then there are those oh so rare moments when he is actually absorbed in his toys and even sitting still! How to capture and hold onto that fragment of time without spoiling the peace and quiet created by his stillness.

Oops! Grandma is busted. Doggone flash gave me away.  Well I have the evidence just in case I need to prove that he does sit still.

The Simple Womans Daybook 20 February 2012

Outside my window...the sun is shining brightly.  I can see Ian's beefers standing on the hill across the road eating away at the roundbale that Matthew and his friend Joe brought over last night.  There is a rightness about watching the steers placidly standing in the sunlight enjoying their breakfast.  The sight of them is almost like a benediction on the day.
I am thinking...about human relationships. Sounds high fallutin' doesn't it.  Actually I am thinking about the struggle that goes on inside of me between what is right and good and my hermit-like tendancies.
I am thankful for...the house finches that have already begun to build their nest in the rafters outside my window.  Perhaps their presence is a sign of an early spring.
From the kitchen...there is much in the way of leftovers to tide us over until the busyness of Monday yields to the relative peace of Tuesday.
I am wearing....jammies still.  I kind of stayed up too late last night finishing an assignment so hubby lovingly let me sleep in this morning.
I am creating...works that are lovely to look at and a joy to behold.  I have always liked that line. I haven't a clue where it came from but it has stuck in my head and made a home there.
I am going....nowhere fast! Actually I no longer do things fast I am getting too old for such folderoll.  I am staying home today.  I have given Matthew the nod to take the car to work and leave me wheeless.
I am reading...Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol for a school assignment.  It is an easy as pie read since it is my favorite story and I read it every Christmas.
I am hoping...to get the bulk of my work done by Ash Wednesday so that I can attempt some possible creative work for the rest of the week.  We will see how that goes.
I am hearing...MK, Layn and Melissa upstairs.  By the sound of things Layn has the brush and dustpan and is sweeping the floors.  I hear Matthew in the living room moving some electronic equipment and the fan on the furnace making sure that we are all nice and warm and cozy.
Around the house...all is in chaos. Now that grandma is back in school the general picking up and tidying doesn't always get done so things tend to pile up.  That is okay I find though.  It means that this is home and everyone is comfortable living here.
One of my favorite things....my whole family in the kitchen together.
A few plans for the rest of the week....work diligently at my assignments, prepare for a fruitful Lent, and attempt to engage in some form of creativity.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...

There is something endearing about a little boy engrossed in the exploration of his favorite truck.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

No way I spoil this little girl!

It may seem like I take a lot of pictures of my two grandkids. I surely don't take any more than any other grandmother does, do I?  I know I don't spoil then, not at all.  I only get them things every other time I go out to the store.

I have to tell you that even though it is the dead of winter around here when I saw this little bathing suit I knew it was the one for Savannah.  She is a very fashionable young lady and we don't get just anything for our little 'Nanna.

Then I saw this little pink robe near the bathing suits, well how could it be calling her spoiled to get her a proper cover-up to go with her bathing suit? 
Nope, this little girl is not spoiled and this grandma sure isn't the one doing it, no way.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rare moments that are getting rarer

Tuesday of this week Matthew, my youngest child, was sworn into the Army.  He will be leaving home on 21 August.  For those of you who are not mothers it may seem plenty of time.  For those who have never let a child go it may seem like a date in the distant future, not to be thought about right now.  For those of you who are not letting your youngest, most fought for, and most dearly bought child go it may seem like simply a day in the life. 

This is not so for this child.  So this mother doesn't dwell on the inevitable nor on the heart that will be both swelling with pride as it breaks into a million pieces.  This mother takes out her camera and captures the moments.
She strings them like pearls on the thread of her heart so that when he is gone she can take them out and run them lovingly through her fingers.

Each pearl will be blessed with a prayer, no a thousad prayers for his safety and sent with wings of love to the God who made him, the Blessed Mother who cradles him, and the Angel Warrior who defends him.

Holy Michael Archangel defend him in battle.


Come home safely Uncle Matt so that your little Savannah will always know her big brave and loving Uncle.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Giving our all

Today Matthew was sworn into the United States Army.  He is the fifth of my five sons to enter the armed forces.  Talk about mixed emotions. My heart not only swells with pride and love for this son who is, with courage and reliance on the grace of God, approaching this next step into manhood, but also it aches to see him leave home knowing just what he is facing.
You will live in my prayers as you never have before. May the Lord hold you in the palm of his hand.  May his Blessed Mother wrap her mantle lovingly around you and may St. Michael the Archangel guide you in your battle for heaven.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Outside my window....old man winter decided to rear his ugly head last night. We woke up this morning to 4 or 5 inches of snow that fell last night. Temps are in the 20's with a stiff west wind that drops the windchill below 0. It is a good day to sit inside and do what needs to be done. There will certainly be no pull of the weather calling me outside like there was last week.




I am thinking....about this mornings reading from Mother Theresa. She talks about temptation being the fire that purifies us like gold in the furnace. Lately I have not been trying too hard to resist those little temptations to imperfection and mediocrity that have come my way. I need to head out to confession and make a new start turning my back on my moods and errant emotions.



I am thankful for....a husband who stands firm when firmness is called for. I thank God for him every day.



From the kitchen....there is plenty of leftover beef stroganoff from yesterday to satisfy this crowd.



I am wearing....green tee shirt and sweat pants.



I am creating....completed school assignments.



I am going...to stay home all day until Matthew needs to report to the recruiter this afternoon.



I am reading...Danial Deronda by George Eliot



I am hoping...to get the bulk of my writing done early this week so that I can work on some other projects.



I am hearing...Layn climbing the stairs to take his first nap of the day, the sound of the windchimes out front that hang under the eaves of the house blowing in the wind, and Isabella trying to find a comfortable place to lay down here in the sewing room.



Around the house....things are neat and clean and in full Monday morning swing. We have to be quieter than usual today though. Ian is sleeping because he had to be out plowing all night last night.



One of my favorite things...having virtual coffee and conversation with my online friends.



A few plans for the rest of the week....school, holy hour, doctor's appointments, and more school.



Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you....







This boy is often the only reason to get up in the morning! Time to bust out of that malaise and get back on my own road again.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Building bad habits!

Matthew has had a bad cold lately and we consequently cannot keep tissues in the house.

He has developed a one box a day habit.

I think he has become a "chain blower"